The amount of stress you experience and your reaction to it can lead to a number of health problems. From wreaking havoc on your sleep to sapping your energy, stress can set off a chain of events that might increase the risk of heart disease. Mental health (ref. link) can positively or negatively affect your physical health and pose a risk to your heart, according to “Psychological Health, Well-Being, and the Mind-Heart-Body Connection,” a scientific statement in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
Needless to say everyone senses and responds to stress in various ways. To know about what you can do, it is critical to first know how much stress you are experiencing and how you react to it.
Although stress does not directly alter how the heart works, it does impact the variables that can raise the risk of heart diseases, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. An increase in blood pressure and cholesterol puts additional stress on the heart, giving the person breathing difficulties and making them weaker. Under such stressful circumstances, your body releases the hormone adrenaline, which speeds up breathing and raises blood pressure.
Another indirect route is that some people who are stressed out drink excessively, which can damage their artery walls.
As per a study (ref. link), ”stressful life events and social strain were each associated with increased risk of CHD among women. For job strain, the increased CHD risk was confounded by socioeconomic factors. Exposure to job strain and social strain interacted synergistically, resulting in a higher risk of CHD than expected from exposure to either stressor alone.”
Stress can increase inflammation in your body, which in turn is linked to factors that can harm your heart, such as high blood pressure and lower “good” HDL cholesterol, Blaha says (ref. link). Furthermore, chronic stress can also affect your heart in a more indirect way. When you’re worried, you tend to sleep poorly. You’re also less likely to exercise, make healthy food choices, or watch your weight, Blaha says. All of these lifestyle changes can put your heart health at risk (ref. link).
When you are confronted with a stressful situation your body reacts instantly by releasing the chemicals cortisol and adrenaline. This is the body’s natural response to certain situations. Related physiological reactions occur far more frequently than is healthy. High stress may lead to high blood pressure which can pose a risk of heart attack and stroke. Learn more about how stress impacts heart health and the circulatory system.
Even petty stress can initiate heart problems like poor blood flow to the heart muscle. This is a state in which the heart doesn’t get adequate blood or oxygen. Long-term stress can influence how the blood clots, which makes the blood stickier and raises the risk of stroke.
Moreover people who experience a lot of stress may smoke or choose other unwholesome practices to deal with anxiety.
Typical reactions to stress include:
Recognising the causes of stress and acting quickly to reduce it are crucial.
You can manage stress and reduce the risk of heart disease. Here are a few ways to make it easier:
Numerous heart-related issues can be triggered by stress. It can lead to heart problems, heart attacks, and strokes more likely. Even if it might not always be possible to avoid stress, it is still possible to cope with it well. People can use the methods mentioned above to manage their stress if they want to safeguard their heart health.
Finally, as you work on de-stressing you can be assured of your heart health by using our revolutionary Frontier X2 heart monitoring device.
As a response to stress, the body releases hormones that have detrimental effects on the heart in the long term. As a result, stress leads to high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, inflammation of the muscles, risk of blood clotting, and several other factors that put one at an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular risks.
Stress has various physical manifestations that if monitored carefully can help in reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Look out for irregular heartbeats, chest pains, high blood pressure, irregular sleeping patterns, increased sugar cravings, irritability, and anxiety. If any of these symptoms linger for a long time and are triggered due to stress, you must seek medical attention.
Stress can affect the heart in adverse ways directly by increasing blood pressure, elevating sugar levels, and risking blood clots. But it can also lead to passive indirect effects. A person suffering from stress is likely to not engage in any physical exercise, resort to bad habits such as smoking and consumption of alcohol, unhealthy sleeping patterns, over and unhealthy eating, etc. which can have a long-term effect on the heart.
Stress can be very easily identified using some notable physical manifestations. You might be under stress if you are facing difficulty in breathing, feel irritable and angry easily, anxious all the time, get frequent stomach aches, are unable to sleep, feeling fatigued, sudden weight gain or unexplained weight loss, and sweat.
Save your heart from stress and its harmful impacts easily by practising a few healthy measures daily. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise ranging from basic to strenuous. Practice yoga and meditation to calm the mind and keep worries at bay. Listen to music or engage in activities that stimulate pleasure for you. Engage in social activities and talk to people to avoid feeling alone and lonely. Laugh as much as you can to increase oxygen levels, heighten good cholesterol and relieve tension in the heart.
Other Heart Health Topics To Explore:
AFib Risk Factors | Heart Attack causes | Wearable ECG Monitor | Heart Palpitations After Eating | Heart Rate While Running | Mental Stress | Heart Attack Symptoms | Heart Palpitations Causes | Increased Heart Rate | Healthy Heart Tips